Monday, Aug. 6, the head of Iran’s National Security Council Saeed Jalili touched down in Beirut ran’s shortly after Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani declared: "The fire that has been ignited in Syria will take the fearful (Israelis) with it. Jalili (not Larijani as misreported earlier) came for urgent on-the-spot coordination with Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah before continuing Tuesday to Damascus.
One of Iranian leader Ali Khamenei’s most trusted advisers, Jalilee’s first action on arriving in the Lebanese capital was to pay homage at the tomb of Imad Moughniye, HIzballah’s late military commander. He said: “The resistance against Israel had many stars, but Moughniye was the moon.”
His movements were closely guarded by a bevy of Hizballah security forces and Al Qods Brigades heavies in civvies.
Since the dead arch-terrorist Moughniye spent his latter years devising innovative clandestine operations against Israel, including the kidnap of soldiers (His earlier years were marked by spectacular outrages against Americans), Israel clearly dominated his meeting with Nasrallah.
Nasrallah set the tone by his speech Monday marking iftar (the nightly meal breaking the Ramadan fast): “All Muslim sects do not accept the approach of slaughtering and killing over differences with each other. This is among the biggest threats our societies are facing and I say there are two threats: Israel and Takfiri, who [have the] minds of murderers.”
Neither therefore concealed the object of their concern. Jalilee, who is also Iran's senior nuclear negotiator with the world polwers, was present.
According to debkafile’s military sources, their discussion turned on military action against Israel in the context of the next stage ahead of the Syrian crisis.
That stage was already marked by the rumors circulating in Syria and Lebanon. They claimed that Bashar Assad had died in mysterious circumstances, and his wife Basma, children and close family, including his brother Gen. Maher Assad, were at Latakia port awaiting vessels or aircraft to lift them to safety.
debkafile’s sources say those rumors are without foundation. At the same time, the visible crumbling of the top Syrian leadership is making wild scenarios believable. Sunni figures who had cast in their lot with the Alawite-dominated Assad regime have begun heading for the exits, depriving it of a major prop.
Assad’s grip on power is further shaken by the spreading conviction among his enemies and friends alike that he and his family have made plans for their getaway and are bound to carry them out sooner or later.
The defections to Jordan of Riad Hijab Monday, two months after he was appointed Syrian prime minister, and three members of his cabinet, were not in themselves a direct blow to the regime. In Damascus, where the president reigns supreme, the prime minister is a technocrat rather than a political figure and easily replaced. However, they did contribute dramatically to the general sense of a government cracking fast under the pressures of the revolt against Assad rule.
It must therefore be taken fore granted that Jalilee and Nasrallah, both shrewd operators, will have realized their ally in Damascus is going down. Instead of lamenting his impending undoing, they will have got down to brass tacks for asserting their command and control after his departure – before it is too late. Military plans for Israel are no doubt part of their schemes.